State Senate campaign flyer triggers anti-Semitism criticism from UConn students

The flyer is part of the campaign for the open Senate seat representing Middletown, Wethersfield, Newington, Cromwell and Rocky Hill, according to the Courant. (Screenshot via Twitter)

A campaign flyer sent out by Republican Ed Charamut this past week is under fire for its apparent anti-Semitic imagery depicting the Jewish Connecticut state Rep. Matthew Lesser, according to the Hartford Courant.

The flyer is part of the campaign for the open Senate seat representing Middletown, Wethersfield, Newington, Cromwell and Rocky Hill, according to the Courant. The flyer has bold text saying “Vote No On Matt Lesser” with an edited picture of him holding hundreds of dollars and grinning. The flyer was sent days after the shooting in a Pittsburgh synagogue, which killed 11 and injured six others this past Saturday.

“It’s imagery used to depict Jewish people going back hundreds of years,” Lesser told the Hartford Courant. “Whether that was intentional or not I can’t say. That’s not what our community is about. On Sunday evening in Middletown we had a community gathering on the South Green in light of what happened in Pittsburgh, and it was the best of our community and it was really heartening. It’s demoralizing to see the campaign go in this direction.”

During Chabad’s vigil for the Pittsburgh massacre Wednesday night, Celine Glanzberg, a first-semester speech language and hearing sciences major, said she feels angry that there are still acts of anti-Semitism happening.

“I feel disgusted with the fact that it is still happening today,” Glanzberg said. “Why are people so hateful to other religions?”

Charamut defended his flyer in an email to The Courant, saying it is not anti-Semitic.

“Those wishing to portray a graphic illustration as something hateful are completely wrong,” Charamut wrote to The Courant. “I reject hate speech in all its forms. The mailer draws a stark contrast between myself and Matt Lesser. Do you want to protect your wallets, or do you want to make Matt Lesser your new state senator?”

On Tuesday, Chelsea Clinton tweeted the flyer on Twitter with the caption, “Three days after the deadliest anti-Semitic attack on American Jews in American history:”

Daniel Babylov, a third-semester actuarial science and finance major, said he feels that any act of anti-Semitism affects him on a deeper level.

“I feel personally attacked. It’s a part of me,” Babyloz said. “An act of anti-Semitism is the same as [an attack] on me.”


Rachel Philipson is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at rachel.philipson@uconn.edu.